2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog

2008-2009 Catalog

The Johanna Alderfer Harris Environmental Studies Program

Students may complete an environmental studies concentration as an adjunct to a major in any of the participating departments or programs: Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English, Geology, Growth and Structure of Cities, Mathematics, Physics, Political Science, or Sociology.


Donald C. Barber, Geology and Environmental Studies

Steering Committee

Peter Briggs, English
Richard Davis, Anthropology
Victor J. Donnay, Mathematics
Jonas Goldsmith, Chemistry
Karen Greif, Biology
Carol Hager, Political Science (on leave semester I)
David Karen, Sociology
Gary McDonogh, Growth and Structure of Cities
Michael Noel, Physics
Christopher Oze, Geology
Michael Rock, Economics
David Ross, Economics (on leave semester I)
Ellen Stroud, Growth and Structure of Cities and Environmental Studies
Neal Williams, Biology

The environmental studies concentration is an interdisciplinary program involving departments and programs in the natural and social sciences and humanities. The concentration allows students to explore the interactions among earth systems, human societies and local and global environments.

General inquiries concerning the concentration should go to the Environmental Studies Program Director Donald Barber, (dbarber@brynmawr.edu). The listed contact persons on the environmental studies steering committee can answer questions pertaining to the concentration in their departments.

The concentration consists of six courses, four of which are fixed, and two of which are chosen from approved groups. Students should consult the catalog listings of their major department for disciplinary coursework specific to the concentration, if any. Additional program information is available on the environmental studies Web site: http://www.brynmawr.edu/es.

All concentrators must complete GEOL/CITY B103 Earth Systems and the Environment, CITY B175 Environment and Society and BIOL B220 Ecology. These three core courses must be completed before the senior year. As seniors, all concentrators reconvene in the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (ANTH/BIOL/CITY/GEOL B397) to discuss in-depth issues within a broader environmental theme, set by mutual consent at the beginning of the semester.

Because the environmental studies concentration seeks to provide perspective on policy questions and the human sides of environmental issues, students must choose courses outside the natural sciences. One of these courses should address issues of planning and policy, and one other should address issues of humans in the environment. Available recommended courses are listed below, divided into these two groups. Alternative courses not shown below also may fulfill these requirements, but the environmental studies director must approve any such course substitution. Students also are encouraged, but not required, to take additional science courses to augment their curriculum; possible courses are listed below. In addition to checking with the department environmental studies contact, each student’s coursework plan for the concentration must be reviewed by the environmental studies director.

Note: Some classes shown below have prerequisites; some are not offered every year. College divisions and how often each course is offered are shown (subject to change).

Planning and Policy (one is required) Div. When Offered
ANTH B210 Medical Anthropology I Alternate Years (Alt. Yrs.)
ECON B234 Environmental Economics Occasionally
CITY/ANTH B190 Form of the City  I or III  Every Year (Spring)
CITY B217 Research in Policy Methods  I Every Year (Spring)
CITY B229 Comparative Urbanism Most Years (Fall or Spring)
CITY B345 Adv. Topics in Environment and Society I Every year (Spring)
CITY B360 Urban Social Movements  Most Years (Fall or Spring)
POLS/CITY B222 Intro. to Environ. Issues  I Alt. Yrs. (Spring ’09)
POLS B310 Comparative Public Policy I Alt. Yrs. (Spring ’09)
POLS B321 Technology and Politics Every 3 Years (Fall ’08)
POLS B339 The Policy-making Process Alt. Yrs. (Fall)
POLS B354 Comparative Social Movements  I   Every 3 Years (Fall ’09)
Humans in the Environment (one is required)    
ANTH B101 Intro. to Anthropology I Every Fall
ANTH B203 Human Ecology   Every Year (Fall or Spring)
ANTH H263 Anthropology and Architecture I Occasionally
CITY B278 American Environmental History  I Every Spring
CITY B270/370 Japanese Architecture and Planning I   Every 3 Years
HIST/CITY B237 Urbanization in Africa Occasionally
ENGL B204 Literatures of American Expansion III  Occasionally
ENGL B213 Nature Writing, Environ. Concern III    Occasionally
ENGL B309 Native American Literature III Occasionally
Science of the Environment (suggested offerings)    
GEOL B206 Energy, Resources and Environ. Policy II  Occasionally (Fall ’08)
GEOL B209 Natural Hazards   IIQ  Alt. Years (Spring ’09)
GEOL B302 Low-temperature Geochemistry II   Alt. Yrs. (Spring ’08)
GEOL B312 Quaternary Geology   II  Alt. Yrs. (Fall ’08)
GEOL B314 Marine Geology II  Alt. Yrs. (Fall ’09)
BIOL B210 Biology and Public Policy II  Every Year (Fall or Spring)
BIOL B215 Experimental Design and Statistics II  Alt. Yrs. (Spring ’09)
BIOL B225 Biology of Plants II   Spring ’08
BIOL B309 Biological Oceanography II   Fall or Spring
GEOL/CITY/BIOL/ARCH B328 Geospatial Analysis (GIS) II  Every Spring

For a number of the courses listed above, especially those with a substantial component of independent inquiry, students are encouraged to select environmental topics.

In her senior year, in addition to the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar, each student should show evidence of advanced work in environmental studies. This may consist of a research project, a major thesis, or in some departments it would be a 300-level course in which the student deals extensively with environmental issues. In selected cases, with approval of the major department adviser and the environmental studies director, this advanced work may be undertaken as an internship or Praxis course. Additional courses of interest to students of all disciplines include courses at University of Pennsylvania or Swarthmore College. Certain classes from Junior Year Abroad programs may fulfill requirements for the concentration if pre-approved. These include special environmental programs like the University of Kansas Costa Rica programs and the programs sponsored by Swarthmore in Eastern Europe.

Given the flexible requirements of the concentration, it is important that students plan their curriculum as early as possible. Ideally planning should start no later than the first semester of the sophomore year.

Updated August 25, 2008 by Tracy Kellmer